Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

Newport Beach to San Clemente: Hiking Inn to Inn from Malibu to Mexico

This moderate four day, 27.3 mile walkabout hikes some of the most alluring swimming and surfing beaches in the world as well as rugged rocky shores under steep cliffs that you will share with sea birds, seals, and dolphins. You’ll visit lively classic beach towns, step back in time in the beautifully restored cabins of Crystal Cove, and savor the fine cuisine and arts scene of Laguna Beach. This is my favorite walkabout on the 200 mile hike from Malibu to Mexico.

Explore the Southern California Riviera at two miles an hour, hiking inn-to-inn.

Visit our Shop to purchase the digital vacation guide for Newport Beach to San Clemente.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

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Tags: Clemente, Newport, inn-to-inn


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Comment by Judith Turner on Friday

My husband and I completed the Newport San Clemente section Sept. 20 to 24. Thanks so much to Sunset and Tom, we never would have imagined such a celebration of my 70th BD and our 50th anniversary! Pros: sunsets and drinks each evening, appreciated Tom's accommodation research, even got a dorm room at Crystal Cove! We were warmly received by many curious folks along the way who wanted to hear our story. Hiking pole for me was fabulous and very important. I copied the book and carried one page a day in my pocket for quick reference. The Osprey Stratos and Sirrus 36 packs were great, no back or shoulder problem, just groin and thighs for a couple of days. My iphone helped to find the new San Clemente bike trail starting by the Amtrak station across from a lovely coffee and smoothie store. The trail led to the pier and the end!!

Cons: My health app clocked 11+ miles the first day, 4 more than the guide, and every day thereafter we hiked at least a third more. Much distance was spent on the inland routes due to the tides and the new construction of yet more gated communities. We dumbly thought the wording of low tide on the 21--24 was meaningful, should have tried for a minus tide! Or else global warming really is affecting the points which were blocked! However, the #1 bus went all way back North from San Clemente to Long Beach for 75 cents, and JetBlue got us to SF quickly!

Oh, the heat was a big factor, 86 to 90 every day, jumped in the ocean to be able to continue. Also there is NO SHADE on the beaches unless you crawl under a lifeguard station or sneak under someones deck!

thanks again,

Judy Turner

Comment by Susan Carter on September 17, 2015 at 12:22pm

My husband and I are leaving to hike the Malibu to Mexico path in a week. We'll be walking the entire 200-miles in 17-days, plus taking two extra days in Santa Catalina and Laguna Beach. If anyone is doing this walk, or a portion of it, we'd love to connect with you if we could match up dates/times. I'm happy to share our itinerary if you can send me an email.

Comment by Tom Courtney on November 20, 2014 at 2:15pm


We were able to find street parking in Newport Beach along W. Balboa Ave., a few blocks from the Newport Pier.  At the time we hiked, there was unmetered parking except for Mondays when there was street sweeping.  If you are staying in Newport Beach, you may also be able to arrange parking with your innkeeper.  Check out the Transportation Section at the end of each chapter for public transportation information on how to return to your starting place once you have finished the hike to San Clemente.

Have a great hike.

Tom Courtney

Comment by jack Kohan on November 19, 2014 at 7:11pm

Hi all, Coming form San Diego, how do you start and end the trip for Newport Beach to San Clemente walk? There is no train stop near Newport Beach?

Where would you park your car(s) as you would need starting and ending point transportation. Thanks in advance for your advice


Comment by Lisa Hiller on November 7, 2014 at 9:18pm
Hi Tom thank you for your thoughtful and excellent hiking book. My three girlfriends and I are meeting up somewhere between San Clemente and Laguna Beach Next weekend 2 driving from LA one from Huntington Beach and me from San Diego. did you have a favorite inn or hotel that you stayed at on that stretch? Just looking for beachy and a little personality! Thanks

Lisa H
Comment by Tom Courtney on July 17, 2014 at 11:38am


This is topic that I haven't researched.  There are lots of inns along the route.  They are listed in the guide.  Check out their websites for dog friendliness.  It would be fun to take a canine friend on an inn-to-inn hike.


Comment by Lisa H.-S. on July 16, 2014 at 8:34pm

Is it dog friendly?

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